Marijuana For Headaches
Marijuana being used to treat headaches is nothing new. Only until about a hundred years ago, western doctors were prescribing the plant to their patients who were diagnosed with migraine headaches. New studies may lead patients to put down the aspirin and pick up the bong.
History of Marijuana Treatment of Headaches
Before cannabis prohibition swept the majority of world governments in the early 1900’s, British and American doctors were prescribing marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of various ailments and medical conditions including migraine headaches.
Dr. J.R. Reynolds, Queen Victoria’s court doctor in 1890, wrote about using the plant to treat patients migraines and even found it to be useful in treating other ailments. Only one year afterwards, American doctor J.B. Mattison’s research found that cannabis was capable of preventing patients from feeling the pain of headaches and even reduced the frequency for some.
A few years later, Canadian physician, William Osler published a book concluding that J.B. Mattison was correct and claimed that for migraine headaches, “cannabis indica is probably the most satisfactory remedy.”
After these doctors work, cannabis was made illegal, and all research on its benefits were halted until the first clinical trials of medical marijuana’s effect on migraines were published earlier this year. The tests illustrated there were indeed medical benefits for patients suffering from migraines.
Can Marijuana Reduce the Frequency of Headaches?
A study published by Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado Anshutz Medical Campus concluded that the use of medical marijuana was able to lower the number of migraine headaches for many.
The study found that almost 40% of the patients given medical marijuana for migraines claimed to feel benefits from marijuana usage, including a reduction in the frequency of migraine headaches. 19 percent of the patients studied claimed to see a decrease in the number of migraines and more than 10 percent said there was a complete stop to their migraine headaches.
Only participants using medical marijuana edibles reported adverse effects. Smoking provided better relief for a headache than other methods of consuming marijuana. The entourage effect, which is the combination of multiple cannabinoids for more effective relief. Many states still won’t allow patients to obtain the plant in its raw form or smoke it. They claim it’s because of the harmful effects associated with smoking, despite tobacco remaining legal to smoke.
“One of the superiorities of smoking or vaporizing cannabis is a quick onset of relief. Smoked or vaped marijuana is immediately absorbed into the blood stream by the lungs, where it enters the heart and is transported directly to the brain, cannabis can begin to help patients within a little as two-and-a-half minutes of consumption.” – Gooey Rabinski, Advocate for Cannabis Patients.
So smoking has the potential to provide patients with quicker relief and fewer side effects than edible marijuana products, and we hope doctors will soon be able to prescribe patients the best available option for treating or altogether preventing migraine headaches.